Danish Heritage Museum of Danevang

Contact Us :  979-578-0808

Email:  danishmuseum4@gmail.com

 
The Danish Capital of Texas

When Danevang was first settled in 1894 there was no church building.  The settlers, being affiliated with the Danish Lutheran Church in America at their previous places of residence, began the Danevang Lutheran Church by meeting in various homes in the area, primarily in the home of the Mads Andersen family. The Danish Folk Society had donated some land to the community for the church and cemetery and in  1895 built a meeting house (forsamlingshus) for use as a church, a school and a community gathering place.  The second floor provided living quarters for the Pastor.  Later the building was enlarged to allow more space for meetings.

 A few years later when the farmers began raising cotton and the community was prospering, each of the farmers donated a share of their crops to a fund for a church building and construction was begun.  The new building was completed and dedicated in 1908 and was named the Ansgar Evangelical Lutheran Church.  St. Ansgar, the Patron Saint of Denmark, was the first to bring Christianity to Denmark.

 In the beginning all church services were conducted in the Danish language.  Later they began phasing in some English services and in the 1940’s they dropped the Danish services except for some special occasions.

Danevang Lutheran Church

The original church building served the congregation well until it was destroyed by a tropical hurricane in August 1945.  The building was beyond repair, so a committee was appointed to make plans to build a new church building.  The committee had obtained some designs and were attempting to decide which to present to the congregation.  However, since World War II had ended, a U.S. Army training base in Palacios, Camp Hulen, was being deactivated and the government was disposing of the buildings.  Among these was a chapel building.  The congregation bought this building and hired a contractor to disassemble it and move it to the church property in Danevang and reassemble it with some minor remodeling.  This building was dedicated in 1947 and continues to serve the congregation well.

 Some visitors to the church who had been in the service during World War II reminisce about their experiences in chapels identical to this building.  In 1987 the congregation had a celebration for the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the building and invited three couples who were soldiers who were stationed at Camp Hurlen and had married girls from El Campo and had become prominent citizens of that city.  These men told of life at Camp Hulen and their memories of the chapel building.

 The Danish Lutheran Church in America has by way of mergers over the years become absorbed into the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  The Danevang Lutheran Church (no longer the Ansgar Evangelical Lutheran Church) is a member of the Texas-Louisiana Synod of the ELCA.

In 2013 the church became a member of the Lutheran Congregations in Missions for Christ.

153 County Road 426, P.O. Box 368, Danevang TX 77432            Phone: 979-578-0808

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